The New Yorker said yes. Last week's addition of the magazine's material to's menu of downloadable prose wasn't highlighted or set in bold-faced caps, but the quiet debut speaks loudly of the evolution of audio. Spoken-word productions have reached another milestone. Audio books are clubbable.

In About Town (Scribner, 2000), Ben Yagoda quotes John Leonard of the New York Times: "Whether we read it or refused to read it—which depended, of course, on the sort of people we wanted to be—it was as much a part of our class conditioning as clean fingernails, college, a checking account and good intentions." The magazine, according to Yagoda, "did more than any other entity to create 'our sense' of what was proper English prose and what was not, what was in good taste and what was not...."

The sample available from Audible is three pieces of debut fiction, but future downloads may include Notes and Comment, even movie reviews, said Pamela Maffei McCarthy, deputy editor of the New Yorker. "I think it's a medium that has gathered more and more fans," she said. "We see people who always are too busy to get through all the reading that they need to do, but they have gaps of time that they're starting to figure out can be filled productively. And it seemed like a perfect match."